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More Electronic paper products - this time a clock

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June 15, 2005

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June 16, 2005 Citizen Watch and E Ink this week demonstrated a curved clock utilising an electronic paper display(EPD), further indicating that E Ink’s electronic paper is getting ever closer to the mass market. The Citizen clock follows closely on Seiko’s showing of the world's first watch with an electronic paper display at the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show in April. Both designs incorporate an ultra-thin, low-power display integrated into a curved face but the most compelling aspect of electronic paper displays is their legibility – the reason electronic paper has been developed is ease-of-use compared to traditional electronic displays and computer screens and hence the primary aim has been the development of ebooks which are friendlier on the eye than a computer screen’s 72 to 90 dots per inch.

Displays made with E Ink Imaging Film provide a number of benefits over traditional display technologies, in that they have exceptional readability . E Ink displays have roughly twice the contrast of a reflective LCD, can be easily read in bright sunlight or in dimly lit environments and at virtually any angle.

Combined with the E Ink display’s low power consumption (no backlighting is required) and a versatile, flexible form factor, this allows product designers to create new designs that were not previously possible using a thin, flexible display to create curved, eye-catching shapes.

E Ink Imaging Film display salso have an inherently stable "memory effect" which requires no power to maintain an image, drastically increasing the battery life. The result is 1/100 the power consumption of traditional display options.

An example of how this is can be used to excellent effect in point-of-purchase (POP) technology is Bioware's latest XBOX game merchandising display for its Jade Empire game. A typical Ink-In-Motion display can animate continuously for up to 6 months using just two AA batteries.

These benefits, especially the long battery life, allow the Citizen clock to be installed in locations that would otherwise be difficult or impossible.

Citizen Watch has not yet announced a launch date for this product, but it is expected to be commercialised in Japan in 2005. Plans for the international launch are under consideration, along with other design interpretations.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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